Beloved Young & Restless Veteran Dead at 89
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that the CBS soap’s original Mamie Johnson has passed away.
It’s a sad day around the Abbott mansion. The Young and the Restless’ Marguerite Ray has died at the age of 89, the East Bay Times reports.
The New Orleans native originated the role of the Abbott family’s housekeeper Mamie Johnson in 1980 and played it for nearly a decade. Of course, Mamie did much more than plan menus and water the plants. In the wake of Dina’s abandonment of her husband and children, she served as a confidante for John and surrogate mother for Ashley and Traci. (Presumably less so for Jack; you know what a pill he was!) She was so much an honorary Abbott, in fact, that she attended rather than worked John’s wedding to Christine Blair’s ill-fated mother, Jessica (pictured above).
Credit: CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
Later, Ray’s storyline was expanded to include Mamie’s nieces, Drucilla and Olivia Barber. And rare was the day that went by that Mamie didn’t get to express her disapproval of John’s on-again/off-again wife, Jill Foster. (Ironically, the character’s biggest plot didn’t come about until after Veronica Redd Forrest took over the role; Mamie and John realized that they had fallen in love, but rather than fight to be together, he stayed with Jill for the sake of son Billy — and look how well-adjusted he turned out — while Mamie accept a $1M payday from Mrs. Abbott and took off on a world cruise with another man.)
In addition to The Young and the Restless, Ray, whose date of death is listed as November 18, also appeared on Sanford as Evelyn Lewis from 1980-81 and Dynasty as Jane Matthews in 1989. To refresh your memory of what a lovely, warm presence she provided to the CBS soap, watch her in action below, presiding over a classic Abbott family breakfast (back when Jack was the late Terry Lester, not Peter Bergman).
While you’re here, you might as well give all the way in to your somber mood and scroll through the below photo gallery of other daytime stars that have been taken from us by 2020, aka the Year That Just Would Not End.
Video: YouTube/The Young and the Restless